If you own a commercial building, you probably know that it requires regular maintenance. However, what you might not know is exactly what’s involved in that process or the types of jobs that a commercial mason can tackle for you.
Whether you’re considering new construction, adding on to your existing building or just fixing some problem areas before they become a bigger issue, it’s helpful to know what fits into the scope of commercial masonry work. In order to do that, you should be aware of the types of materials that masons can work with, as well as examples of the work they can do to help buildings look great and last for as long as possible.
The Materials Used
When people think of masons, they’re usually aware that this profession may also go by the term “stonemason.” However, just because stone is in the name doesn’t mean that’s the only material a mason can work with. Professionals in masonry are skilled in building with or repairing stone, brick and concrete-though individuals might choose to specialize further in only one of these.
If your building is made out of any of these materials or if you’re considering construction that relies on them, a commercial mason can help. The types of projects that they often tackle can vary widely, with highly skilled masons performing a range of services to keep a building’s needs met for the long term.
The Projects Tackled
Many masons specialize in certain tasks, but most will have a broad knowledge of many of the most common projects that buildings need. These include:
- Crack repair – Whether you’ve built with stone, concrete or brick, the material will begin to wear down over time. Masonry is sturdy, but changes in temperature and humidity or even shifts in the foundation can cause cracks that comprise a building’s stability and waterproof nature. Masons can fill cracks or repair damaged brick before the building wears down further.
- Tuckpointing – If your building uses mortar to keep its elements (like bricks) together, the mortar will need to be cared for and even replaced over time. It can begin to chip, wear away or split off, allowing water and even pests to creep into the interior walls of a building. Tuckpointing (or repointing, depending on your needs) removes old mortar and installs new material, which not only improves the performance of your commercial structure but can also amplify its aesthetic.
- Waterproofing – Even stone is not resistant to moisture, and water that’s allowed to seep into your commercial building can cause mold or rot away the wooden structures within. Masonry work often includes waterproofing steps, either through comprehensive caulking and mortar repair or the application of waterproof films. An expert can help you navigate which option is best for your specific building.
- Restoration – In older or historic buildings specifically, you may want to keep the aesthetic and function without changing the materials. Masonry restoration can be achieved through careful rebuilding of certain areas as well as consistent maintenance to prevent the growth of algae, mold and fungus.
- Cleaning – Thanks to the textured nature of masonry materials, commercial buildings made from these substances can get dirty quickly as dust and other debris settle onto surfaces. Masons can pressure wash or power wash your building’s exterior to remove unwanted growth, from moss and mold to pests and dirt. A skilled mason can also choose the right detergent for your exterior as well as the right water pressure so that the cleaning does not damage your brick or stone.
- Flashing and joint repair – The bricks themselves are not the only part of your commercial building that can fail. Flashings (which are meant to stop water from soaking into your façade) and joints keep your building safe from flooding and moisture. When these elements stop working, no amount of waterproof coating can compensate. A skilled mason will replace these elements without compromising the structural integrity of the building. The most common areas for failure here are around windows and doors, as well as locations where something like a pipe enters the building.
Be Sure to Work with Pros for Your Commercial Masonry Needs
Whether you have already begun to notice symptoms of a problem with your commercial building or you want to get ahead of any issues, be sure to work with experts who understand how the material works. The professionals at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration can help you tackle any of the problems listed above and more. Reach out to schedule a visit to identify problems in their early stages or to get started on a new project to help you achieve your goals.